April 26, 2008

As if Microsoft isn't bad enough...

Alice just bought a new computer, the last Windows XP machine to come off the assembly line. She is suffering technological difficulties, and sick to death of how wonderful the PC was supposed to make her life. Right now, she would rather have a hard copy of a newspaper, and not need to know more than the TV evening news has to tell her.

Although she has managed to keep most of the learning curve to a minimum, there are still a few hurdles to go before the machine is working perfectly. The computer guy (does not deserve the name "technician," though his invoice reflects it) managed to transfer data as Alice asked.

He could not, however, trouble shoot such common questions as, why won't the screen saver kick in when it's supposed to? Why won't the antivirus software run on schedule? Somehow, Alice expected a wee bit more knowledge from someone who bills himself as a computer tech guy.

However, given her last run-in with HP, she should know better. It doesn't matter what the native language is, ignorance is apparently in great demand for all tech support gigs. Where does Alice sign up? She wears her ignorance proudly: the exact label reads, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

The do-it-yourself age is highly overrated, Alice once again observes. If she had wanted to be a travel agent, she would have signed up for that gig. If she had wanted to develop pictures, she would have had herself a darkroom. Getting the photos from digital camera to computer is just one more technological nightmare, so far as she is concerned.

And one more tangle with Microsoft's monopoly makes Alice certain that she would like nothing better than to get a cease and desist order on the entire company. Let us have a few years to catch up before you try to sell us anything new. The economy sucks, and we're just not interested.

On another note, here is some news from last week's Tactical Traveler:

Better Get That Icky Stuff Off Your Laptop's Hard Drive

"A federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that Customs agents at the airport don't need any evidence of wrongdoing to search the contents of a passenger's laptop, thumb drives and other storage devices. The theory supported unanimously by the court's three judges this week: A laptop is luggage and Customs agents don't need evidence of wrongdoing to search luggage because it is the equivalent of a border search. (The Supreme Court previously ruled that luggage searches at the airport are the equivalent of border searches.)

"All of this would be a fascinating legal argument in and of itself, but keep this in mind: The case began in 2005 when a Customs agent stopped a traveler on his return from the Philippines and asked him to turn on his computer. The agent then found images he believed to be child pornography. The flyer was arrested for transporting child pornography and traveling to the Philippines to have sex with a minor."

The world never ceases to amaze Alice, or perhaps dumbfound is the more appropriate response.

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Blogger the only daughter said...

I hope you got / get your computer issues worked out. I turned on my digi camera this morning to get some shots of the pup on her walk, took one snap and then poof...no more working camera. Ick.

Anyhoo, that laptop search story is just...wow.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous teresa said...

Help, your print is tiny! I need technical support!

Would this be a bad time to ask whether you've ever tried a Mac?

*ducks and covers* (a reference that may only be understood by our generation)

5:03 PM  

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